When we think about how much we debated over Ferrin Brook Farm as a name, we remember the care and deep conversations about how it makes us feel, how a new customer might feel, how it rolled off the tongue. We also can immediately picture the sweet little brook that runs down the property, and how when we first walked the land with the real estate agent, we imagined our children barefooted running through the woods and splashing in the water, building little wood boats with leaf sails. This water is also what feeds the land around us as a tributary brook, joining all the other little streams around us into the lakes and rivers nearby. It is strong and sound and gives us freedom to continue practicing our homesteading without any bounds.
1. Don’t rush.
We have lived here on this land for more than a year and a half and while we were waiting for the muse to inspire us about naming the land or the house, we got to know the property. We learned about what grows here and what the land looks like in all seasons. It will come to you. Trust that you have this land you love for some reason or many reasons and the name will bubble up to the surface and its good to start a list at some point so you can ponder.
Our first excited attempt to name the land was Blackberry Farm or Blackberry Bramble Farm because there are patches of the plants in two wet and sunny spots in the yard and it was the first fruits of the land we picked here! But we had to consider all the other steps and what else we wanted to do with the farm and the land.
2. Figure out what you hope to do at your farm.
When we thought about blackberries, it felt like it pigeonholed us into just being a jam making homestead or selling excess berries. Our vision of the land was for many different uses so we didn’t want to simply go with one specific product named farm. Conversely, if you ARE interested in one main farming/homesteading focus, then that makes a lot of sense. Maybe you are a strict certified organic hydroponic strawberry farm, in that case, it makes a lot of sense to name your farm after the cash crop you produce and love and focus in on that so the market you are trying to reach out to can find you easily.
3. Take a good look around.
I mentioned this before with the blackberry brambles, but truly paying attention to your land and natural physical features of your environs can inspire great names. Whether you have white tail deer hopping through your property (Deer Path Farm), or a slope to the land (Rolling Hill Farm) or just like the sound of what grows naturally (Big Pine Farm). This can be a way to distinguish your farm and land and not name it after yourself. This is where we found exactly what we needed in our name.
4.Honor your favorite animal or ASPECT OF farmING
Sometimes it is unique enough to be a homesteader and have some farming hobbies, other times you might want to stand out from the crowd with your farm’s name and share your love of it with the world. Then here I suggest taking whatever you love most about being on your farm and naming your farm after that. Whether that is a breed of pig, cow, or chicken (Ameraucana Farm), or maybe you really enjoy maple sugaring time and selling maple syrup and can come up with a name based on that process (Sweet Maple Farm). We considered all of the favorite species of trees on the property too before deciding that White Birch Farm sounded a lot like a book store in town.
5. Find something you love and can explain with a smile on your face.
It helps to really like the name. If you have ever named a pet, or a child, then you probably know the toils of explaining where that name came from anyway. People will ask and will want to know more about why and how the name came to be so it helps to love your farm name and feel a good connection to it and also be able to stand behind it. I found this to be very important as a consumer at the farmer’s market and as a producer at the market as well. The pride you have in your work, your land, and your property (whatever you end up doing with it) shows and is palpable, even in a thing as simple as the name.
Do you have any great advice about how to name a farm or what inspired your farm name? We would love to hear your stories about how you named your house, land or farm too!
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